With Windows 10 Microsoft is introducing a brand new web browser which is going to take over from Internet Explorer, a browser that many say is the best browser for downloading other, much more powerful web browsers. Edge seeks to change all that and bring Microsoft’s offering at par with the likes of Chrome, Firefox and Safari, since proprietary web plugins for media are being left behind, Microsoft too has decided to not support its Silverlight plugin on Edge.
The team developing Microsoft Edge has confirmed in a blog post that “Support for ActiveX has been discontinued in Microsoft Edge, and that includes removing support for Silverlight.”
The biggest reason for this is the emergence of “viable and secure media solutions” based on HTML5 extensions. So Microsoft will continue to support Silverlight and out-of-browser apps based on this plugin, and Silverlight will continue to be supported in Internet Explorer 11, but there’s no need for it on Edge.
Microsoft is encouraging companies that provide media content to stick to a single DRM-interoperable encoding work flow enabled by CENC which is now an industry wide practice for browsers, platforms, content and devices.
Folks who switch over to Edge when Windows 10 arrives later this month need not worry, most major online content providers have switched to HTML5 anyway like Netflix did back in 2013, so it’s certainly a step in the right direction by Microsoft.